Think I’m FINALLY back to being well!


Yes, I know – a few days ago I wrote that I was feeling MUCH better – that quickly changed; Sunday I spent the day with ‘lower intestinal problems’ – no fun. It was not until Monday (yesterday) that I FINALLY began to feel well again! Got some laundry done, got the dishwasher loaded & run and a few other minor chores – feeling like I CAN do stuff again! (Oh, and made ravioli for dinner – husband even commented he thought it was an exceptional batch! Amazing!)  Decided to sit for awhile today and knit baby hats, since I haven’t really felt like even knitting. Totals now are around 19 premie hats and 14 newborn (somewhere in that range); I won’t be delivering them until I get close to 25 of each size – probably another 2 weeks or so. Part of me wants to start another baby blanket – part of me says “WHY?”, so I’m just content to knit hats for now.

Our weather got Crazy-Wicked the other night (Sunday) – lots & lots of really strong winds. We were fortunate to not lose power, although several from our church reported they were out for hours, and today’s newspaper reports thousands in the county out for now. (Thank you, Lord, we stayed connected!) AND our new roof held up well – no leaks, as it was raining on & off during the night. Today it’s 41 bright & sunny degrees – looks like a great Fall day out there!


Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

6 potatoes, peeled & sliced
1/2 C. onion
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 C. milk
1/2 C. Half & Half
4 T, flour
4 T. butter
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using a large pot, saute chopped onions in
butter until soft but not browned. In small
bowl, combine flour, salt & pepper. Stir flour
mixture into onion mixture; add milk & Half &
Half. Stir & cook over medium heat until
mixture begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Turn off heat. Add 1 1/2 C. cheese to sauce &
stir until melted & smooth. Add sliced potatoes,
bacon & stir well to combine. Pour mixture into
a greased casserole dish. Cover with foil; bake
35 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle reserved cheese
on top; return to oven & bake another 30
minutes or until potatoes are soft, cheese is
melted & edges begin to brown. Let stand a few
minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.
Serves 6-8


Caramelized Onion Cornbread Dressing

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix (prepare as directed,
2 medium chicken pieces (cooked & shredded) or
2 links mild Italian sausage, plus 1 link hot Italian
sausage, casings removed & cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 C. chicken stock/broth
2 medium onions, diced
1-2 T. dried sage
(optional) 4-6 T. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Saute diced onions in medium-large saucepan
until dark brown. Use butter or extra virgin olive
oil, or both. Pour into greased 9 X 13 baking pan.
Add crumbled cornbread, cooked meat of choice &
sage. In medium bowl, whisk together soup & 1 C.
chicken stock; pour over cornbread mixture & toss
until well combined. Pour remaining stock over
dressing mixture, stirring until completely moistened.
Bake 30  minutes. Serves 12

(Optional: top with 4-6 T. butter during last few minutes
of baking).

Note: recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated – bake when
ready to use.


Stuffed Pumpkin Meatloaf

1 (3 lb) pumpkin
salt & pepper, to taste
3 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. brown sugar
1 large egg
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 C. dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut & remove top of pumpkin. Remove
strings & seed from inner part. Place
whole pumpkin in a baking pan, with 1
inch of water. Cover & cook 45 minutes.
Pour extra water off after cooking. Sprinkle
pumpkin with salt & pepper. Mix 1 T. mustard
& brown sugar; spread around inside of pumpkin.
Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon
mixture into pumpkin & pack tightly. Return to
oven & bake, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until
pumpkin is tender & meatloaf is cooked well.
Wedges can be cut when cooled slightly. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Orange Sauce

12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries (1 bag
or 4 C. worth)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. water
zest of 1 orange

Place all ingredients in medium saucepan; bring
to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a
simmer, cooking until all cranberries have burst,
roughly 5-7 minutes. Stir regularly; remove from
heat. Transfer to clean bowl to cool at room
temperature. Cover with plastic wrap & chill until
ready to serve.  Serves 6-8  May warm slightly
just prior to serving, if desired.

(recipe: Colleen-Marys Recipe Exchange)

(This is just about the way I make mine, except I use the entire orange ground up in the food processor – and I don’t heat the mixture, just refrigerate it)

Three Alarm Chili

4 T. vegetable oil
2 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. oregano
3 T. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried, crushed red pepper
2 (16 oz, ea) cans kidney beans, rinsed
& drained
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large sweet red pepper, diced

Heat oil in Dutch oven; brown beef on all
sides, then remove & drain well on paper
towels. Cook onions & garlic in oil; return
meat to pan. Add tomatoes, sauce, water,
sugar, oregano, chili powder, salt & crushed
red peppers. Bring to boil over High heat.
Reduce heat; simmer 1 1/2 hours. Add
remaining 3 ingredients & simmer, covered,
until meat is tender. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Gingerbread-Caramel Bars

1 (2 layer) box spice cake mix
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg
35 caramels
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (4 oz) pkg. white baking chocolate,
coarsely chopped, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13 baking pan with foil, with
ends of foil extending over sides. Spray
with nonstick cooking spray. Beat cake
mix, ginger, butter & egg with mixer until
blended. (dough will be stiff). Press 2/3
of dough onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly
browned. Microwave caramels & milk in
microwaveable bowl on High 3- 3 1/2
minutes or until caramels are completely
melted & sauce is well blended, stirring
after each minute. Drizzle caramel sauce
over baked layer in pan. Reserve 2 T. chopped chocolate; sprinkle remaining over caramel sauce. Crumble remaining gingerbread dough over dessert. Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Microwave reserved chocolate in microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds to 1 minute,
or until completely melted, stirring every
30 seconds; drizzle over dessert. Let stand
until chocolate is firm. Use foil handles to
lift dessert from pan before cutting into bars.
Makes 36 bars

NOTE: When cutting bars, carefully wipe off the knife blade between cuts with a clean damp towel. This prevents the filing from building up on the blade, ensuring clean cuts that leave the edges of the cut bars intact.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Stuffed Pepper Soup

3 C. cooked brown rice
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
1 C. finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
1 3/4 C. tomato sauce
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
salt & pepper, to taste

In large pot or Dutch oven, brown
ground beef on High & season with
salt. Drain fat, reduce heat to medium-
low & add peppers, onions, & garlic. Cook
5 minutes on Low heat. Add tomatoes,
tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram &
season with salt & pepper, to taste. Cover & simmer on Low 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 C. soup in each bowl & top with 1/2 C. cooked brown rice. Makes about 9 1/2 C.


Yams in Caramel Sauce

5 small (or 3 large) yams, peeled
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
dash salt
1 1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice peeled yams into rings; place in a
large pot. Cover with water; boil until
you can press a fork into the center.
Remove from heat & pour into a colander. Melt butter in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add flour & whisk to combine. Add evap. milk, salt & stir together. Turn up heat, bring to a boil stirring constantly. Once boiling, add brown sugar. Whisk together & bring back to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, it will get quite thick. Stir milk into sauce; let come to a boil again. Remove pan from heat. Sauce should be thicker than gravy, but thinner than pudding. Pour yams into 9 X 9 greased pan. (see NOTE). Pour sauce over yams, cover pan with foil & bake 40 minutes or until bubbly throughout. Serves 10

NOTE: If you are planning on serving this ahead,  you need to keep the cooked yams & sauce separate until ready to bake in oven. Cover, in separate containers, wrap with plastic wrap & store in fridge. When ready to cook, follow the
directions above.


Pineapple, Green Pepper Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. crushed pineapple
1 green pepper, chopped
1 T. dried onion
1 tsp. seasoning salt
2 C. sliced almonds (or chopped pecans)

Place cream cheese in mixer or large mixing bowl, add pineapple, green pepper & seasonings.Mix together until well combined. Pour nuts onto a plate. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray; scoop out half of cream cheese mixture. Form into a ball; place ball in middle of nuts on plate. Cover ball with nuts to completely coat. Place coated ball in center of a strip of clear plastic wrap; cover ball & refrigerate at least 4 hours. Scoop other half of cream cheese mixture out of bowl, roll in nuts, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Makes 2 balls.
Serve with crackers.


Crockpot Cube Steak

1 large onion thinly sliced
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
6 (about 4 oz, ea) beef cube steaks
1 T. cooking oil
3 C. water, divided
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 envelope mushroom gravy mix
1 envelope onion gravy mix

Spray inside of 3-5 qt crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place onions in bottom. Combine flour,
garlic & onion powders & pepper in large,
ziplock bag. Add steaks to bag, a few at a time;
shake until completely coated. Heat oil in a large
skillet over medium heat. Add coated steaks to hot
oil, a few at a time & cook until lightly browned on
each side. Place browned steaks in crockpot on top
of onions. Pour 2 C. water over all; cook on Low
8 hours or until meat is tender. In a bowl, whisk
together the 3 gravy mixes with remaining 1 C.
water; pour over meat in crockpot. Cool, on Low,
30 minutes longer.

(recipe: Facebook/Cube Steak Recipes)


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup coconut
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool.

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

Blend well. Frost cooled cake. Garnish
with chopped nuts, coconut or chopped
fruit, if desired.

Commentary suggestions:
1 tsp coconut extract in the cake
1/2 tsp coconut extract in the frosting.


How are you coming on your Thanksgiving dinner plans? Any changes – any additions? I find myself tossed – last year I made the ‘usual’ double batch of corn casserole and had TONS left over; am re-thinking the amount this year. After reading the recipe above for Caramelized Onion Cornbread Stuffing am thinking of trying that – sure sounds good! I like to add mushrooms, chopped onions (except in this recipe it’s already an element), dried raisins or dried cranberries (after I’ve put them in a small pot with some water & boiled them a bit, to soften them up) to stuffing. Dessert-wise, I’m still ‘on the fence’ – in years past I’ve just purchased a pumpkin pie AND a multi-flavor sliced cheesecake sampler – part of me wants to ‘mix it up’ and change, part of me is wondering ‘will the family get on my case for NOT having cheesecake?” Decisions – decisions! The pumpkin pie is a MUST for husband – he LOVES pumpkin anything! Lately I’ve been trying to eliminate the cranberry-orange relish (I just don’t like the mess and fuss of making it in the food processor – BUT husband loves to ‘help’, so we still do it every year). Ah, the ‘traditions’ of the holidays, eh? I’m fortunate, though – we have a small gathering, usually around 7 +, not a difficult number to cook for and, OF COURSE, all want leftovers to take home!

Well, that’s ‘the news’ for now; hope you’re enjoying your day/night. Remember to get some rest, treat yourself to something you like (a nice cup of coffee/cocoa/tea, etc) and remember to smile every once in awhile!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You sound like you are on the way to a cmlete menu. I’m still on the fence but I will get my act together shortly. Take care!!!

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